When Daniel’s regiment was assigned to Germany, I told him he absolutely must try a Brötchen (called a Semmel in Bavaria), a small roll which looks similar to what is sold in my local supermarket under the moniker “Kaiser roll.” They are not the same.
A Semmel is to a Kaiser Roll as Panini Rustica is to what we lovingly refer to as “Junk Bread,” the ubiquitous sliced spongey substance used to hold most sandwiches together; an excuse not to hold the filling ingredients in your palms. I told Daniel that one bite and he would find his bread world changed. Please note that despite having been in Germany for a total of over a year (with an unpleasant 15 month stint in the Sandbox in the middle of it), he has yet to try one. Kids! You try and do your best by them, but sometimes you just have to let them do stupid things on their own.
What does this have to do with cake? When I posted the lamb cake, Melinda asked what cake I had used. I have a favorite, which was the cake of choice, for 2 reasons.
- There are no strange ingredients — I can usually whip up a cake with no advance notice because I have everything on hand.
- The texture lends itself well to holding up under decorating.
This is a Panini Rustica of cakes; box mixes would be the Junk Bread. It is not a light and fluffly concoction, but has a flavor which invites your mouth to experience it anew with each mouthful!
Anytime CakeAdapted from Betty Crocker ©1969, 1978
1 3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour or 3 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Heat oven to 350º. Grease and flour oblong pan, 13x9x2, or two 9-inch or three 8-inch round layer pans.
Mix sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla till fluffy. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 5 minutes. Beat in flour, baking powder and salt, alternately with milk on low speed. Pour into pan(s).
Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean; oblong 45 to 50 minutes, layers 30 to 35 minutes. Cool.
The recipe offers Broiled Cereal Frosting as its preferred finishing flourish. I will post that in another post!